A daring suspected fraudster allegedly duped some church congregants of $165 in cash and cellphone handsets in front of police officers at the Hwange Police Station charge office
Police have since launched a manhunt for the unnamed suspect who allegedly went to Faith In God Ministries in Lwendulu Village on May 1 pretending to be a congregant and gave a “moving” testimony claiming God had blessed him with a job.
The police have no trace of the man whose details were not captured by the church, with the only identification being the suspect’s photos taken during the church service.
It is alleged that the suspect claimed he was from Makomo Resources and wanted to recruit 15 youths as a way of thanking God for giving him a job. It is reported that there was pushing and shoving as congregants scrambled to register their names for the promised jobs.
After mobilising 15 youths, the suspect allegedly led them to the police station where he said they were going to have fingerprints taken for clearance but disappeared with their money and cellphone handsets which he had collected.
Each of the 15 youths had allegedly paid $11 for vetting.
Matabeleland North acting police spokesperson, Sergeant Namatirai Mashona, said;
“On May 1 the suspect went to Faith In God Ministries in Lwendulu Village where he gave a testimony that God had done wonders for him. “He misrepresented to congregants that he was coming from Minetec at Makomo Resources and wanted to recruit 15 youths for some jobs.
“He registered the youths and told them to go to Hwange Police Station on the following day for fingerprints because there was a need for police clearance,” said Sgt Mashona. The acting police spokesperson said the suspect disappeared leaving the job seekers at the police station.
“He took them to the police station the following morning and when they got to the charge office, he ordered them to surrender their personal belongings that included cellphones and cash. He disappeared without being noticed leaving them at the charge office. There are no identity details of him save for some photos that were captured during the sermon,” said Sgt Mashona.
Police are appealing to anyone who might have information on the whereabouts of the suspect to contact them. “Those who might know the suspect may contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergent Ndlovu of Criminal Investigation Department in Hwange on numbers 0712552173/0775387023,” said Sgt Mashona.